State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Dallas, TX

27.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Local Government Score:
3.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Dallas released sustainability progress reports that included municipal climate and energy action information. The last progress report was released in 2015.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The draft Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan includes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, which also applies to municipal operations. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal, though state statute requires a goal of 5% annual reduction of electricity use by local governments for seven years beginning in 2019.

Renewable Energy Goal

The City of Dallas passed a resolution calling for renewable energy to power 100% of municipal operations. 

Last updated: September 2020

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Dallas adopted a Clean Fleet Policy in 2012 (revised in 2015). The policy includes requirements for purchase of hybrid, plug-in hybrids, and CNG vehicles, as well as fuel efficiency standards for public fleet vehicles. The City of Dallas is an adoptee of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NTCOG) Regional Clean Fleet Vehicle Policy. Dallas’ municipal fleet is composed of 4.4% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles. 

Public Lighting

Dallas has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance, but the city uses a lighting control system for some lights. Dallas installs LEDs for all newly constructed streetlights. Between the City of Dallas, TexasDOT, and Oncor, approximately 43% of streetlights have been converted to LEDs. 

Onsite renewable systems

We were unable to find information regarding onsite renewable energy systems in Dallas.

Inclusive procurement 

We could not verify if the city has inclusive procurement and contracting processes.

Last updated: March 2020

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

The City participates in the Dallas 2030 District Initiative and submits data annually to the District-operated portal which links to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager database.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

The City implements the Green Dallas Initiative with support from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. This program uses EECBG funds, to improve the energy efficiency of city-owned buildings, so far 248 buildings, totaling 3.3 million square feet have been retrofitted.    

Public Workforce Commuting

Dallas offers alternative work hours and telework policies through the City’s Personnel Rules.

Last updated: July 2020

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Dallas has released its Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan which establishes community-wide carbon neutrality goal by 2050. We were unable to verify if the city formally adopted the plan through either a city council resolution or mayoral executive order.

Last updated: September 2020

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Dallas' Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan established a goal of achieving community-wide carbon neutrality by 2050, with an interim target of reducing emissions 43% below 2015 levels by 2030. ACEEE was unable to project if the city will achieve its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal because insufficient GHG emissions data were available for our analysis.

Dallas's 2030 District also set a sector-specific goal to reduce emissions in the Central Business District 50% by 2030. 

The city does report greenhouse gas emissions in periodic reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The city’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory was released in 2019 and reports emissions from 2015.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Dallas 2030 District initiative has a sector-specific goal to reduce energy use 50% by 2030 for the central business district. The city does not have a community-wide energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

The city does not have a renewable energy goal.

Energy Data Reporting

The city has reported energy emissions in its greenhouse gas inventory.

Last updated: September 2020

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Accountability to Equity

As part of the city’s Resilient Dallas Plan, the city created goals to improve equity within the city government. The city has also identified actions, partners, and timeframes by which to fulfill these goals.

Last updated: March 2020

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

While the city has not adopted a specific quantitative urban heat island mitigation goal, the city’s comprehensive plan forwardDallas! does include a broad goal to preserve and increase tree canopy.

UHI Policies and Programs

Dallas adopted the Green Building Program Ordinance which encourages the construction of sustainable buildings through two implementation phases. The first phase focused on encouraging energy efficiency, water conservation and reduction of the heat island effect through cool roofs. The second phase will expand to implement a comprehensive green building standard for all new construction. Newly proposed commercial projects with less than 50,000 square feet of floor area will be required to meet energy efficiency, water conservation, cool roof, and outdoor lighting requirements.

The city has adopted a private tree protection ordinance, but it does not apply to single family residential land. The city has not adopted policies that require or incentivize conservation of private land

The city created the Branch Out Dallas program, which provides trees native to Texas to single family residential properties. The program does not account for energy savings from tree plantings.

Last updated: March 2020

Buildings Policies
Score: 8.5 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Dallas adopted the Dallas Energy Conservation Code, which incorporated the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential buildings and the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings. The city does not have a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure policy. Dallas offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, solar installations, and low-income programs. The city mandates a low-energy use requirement for buildings.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Texas allows its local jurisdictions to adopt and amend the Texas Building Energy Code.  All residential and commercial building construction must comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). To learn more about the Texas’s building energy code, please visit the State Policy Database.


Effective September 2016, commercial buildings in Dallas must comply with the Dallas Energy Conservation Code that incorporates the 2015 IEEC with amendments. In March 2017, Dallas amended the code to include an alternative compliance path for buildings meeting ENERGY STAR program certification.  The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 53.7.


The Dallas Energy Conservation Code incorporated the 2015 IECC for residential construction effective September 2016. In March 2017, Dallas amended the code to include an alternative compliance path for buildings meeting ENERGY STAR program certification.  The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 59.8.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not adopted a policy mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV- ready.

Low-energy use requirements

The Dallas Green Ordinance requires projects less than 50,000 square feet to be 15% more efficient than required by the Dallas Energy Conservation Code. The city allows flexible compliance paths for both commercial and residential developments. Commercial projects may demonstrate compliance by adhering to the International Green Construction Code with city amendments or by achieving LEED certification. Residential projects may demonstrate compliance by following the Dallas prescriptive pathICC 700LEED for Homes, or Green Built Texas. Projects are verified for compliance through the Third Party Green Building Program.

Last updated: September 2020

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

The city has two full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. To ensure compliance, Dallas requires a third-party plan review and inspection from a registered energy provider. The city requires Residential/Commercial Green Providers to attend mandatory training on the city’s Green Building Code.

Last updated: September 2020

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All


The city offers property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to commercial, industrial, and multifamily residential properties for water conservation, energy-efficiency, and solar installation. The city also offers residential properties rebates for a range of home improvement actions that include energy efficiency upgrades. Dallas’s updated housing policy includes provisions to finance energy efficiency upgrades that bring low-income homes up to current energy codes.

Voluntary programs

Dallas runs a 2030 District to encourage voluntary benchmarking. 

Last updated: September 2020

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The city does not have programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: September 2020

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Oncor, an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Dallas. The primary natural gas IOU serving Dallas is Atmos. The City of Dallas is an active promoter of Oncor’s electric efficiency programs. The State of Texas requires electric utilities to offset load-growth through end-use energy efficiency, mandated through an EERS. The utilities must also submit their energy savings goals to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Texas page of the State Database. On the state level, Dallas strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for electric efficiency projects for Oncor.

Dallas Water Utilities provides Dallas with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2020

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2018, EIA reported Oncor had 183,402 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.44% of retail sales. In 2018, Oncor spent $43,852,000 on energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.05% of its retail revenue.

In 2018, Atmos Energy reported 0.09 MMTherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 0.01% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2018, Atmos spent $695,693 on energy efficiency, which equates to $0.39 per residential customer. These figures cover the entire Texas service territory, not just Dallas.

Oncor offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

At this time, the City of Dallas does not have a formal partnership with Oncor or Atmos Energy in the form of a jointly developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: March 2020

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Oncor offers the Hard-to-Reach Standard Offer Program and a Targeted Low-Income Weatherization Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The Hard-to-Reach program is designed to achieve energy and demand savings with the installation of a wide range of energy efficiency measures at low or no cost. Service providers implement the energy-saving measures and their costs are offset by incentives paid by Oncor. Measures include duct sealing, water efficiency measures, insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking. Oncor is also implementing a Targeted Weatherization Program through the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies (TACAA), which provides funds to designated federal Weather Assistance Program (WAP) subrecipient agencies. This enables them to provide weatherization services to low-income residential electric distribution customers. Energy-efficient measures installed include aerators, attic insulation, air infiltration, central air conditioning units, central heat pumps, duct improvement, floor insulation, and ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and windows. Customers are automatically enrolled in Oncor’s low-income programs if they are enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), Home Weatherization Assistance Plan (HWAP), or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

Spending and energy savings value, and the number of customers served by their 2018 low-income programs were not available.

At this time, Atmos Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers in the City of Dallas.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, Oncor and Atmos Energy do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: March 2020

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Oncor nor Atmos Energy provide building managers with automated benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for multitenant commercial or multifamily buildings. The City of Dallas does not advocate for better access to utility data for ratepayers or the establishment of data-sharing agreements between the city and its utilities.

Last Updated: March 2020

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2018, Oncor offered the Solar Photovoltaic Program, which is available to both commercial and residential customers that meet program eligibility criteria. We were unable to determine the total spending and kW installed through the program in 2018.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

As part of the 2019 Green Energy Policy, the City has taken steps to become involved in the related regulatory proceedings. The Green Energy Policy established a relationship with the City’s energy provider to work toward expanding renewable green energy that requires the city to use 100% renewable energy and directs actions towards implementing on and off-site generation. The City is also developing its Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan, which will also create opportunities to spur more utility-scale renewable generation to serve the city.

Last Updated: May 2020

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Dallas’s water and energy utilities do not jointly administer water and energy efficiency programs. DWU does participate in ERCOT’s 4 Coincident Peak program, which reduces electrical demand during peak time. The city has watering restrictions and offers its own water efficiency programs including the New Throne for your Home program, irrigation system checks, rebate programs, multi-sector water audits, and support for minor plumbing repairs.

Dallas’s Water Conservation Strategic Plan 2016-2020 calls for an average of 1% per year reduction in per capita consumption for the five-year planning period. In 2018, the City achieved 175 GPCD, below the expected 182 GPCD set.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The Dallas City Council’s strategic plan calls for energy recapture opportunities in the water and wastewater systems. DWU has a project underway that will look at the installation of smart water meters to help reduce water loss and increase efficiency in the water treatment and delivery system.

The Southside wastewater treatment plant has a bio-digester that generates electricity used on-site. It is anticipated that gas pulled off of the sludge digester provides about 50% of the plant’s energy.

Last Updated: March 2020

Score: 7 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of Dallas is Dallas Area Rapid Transit. DART also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train, bus, light rail, and trolley service. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as many surrounding counties. The Public Works Department of Dallas is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

We could not confirm that Dallas has a plan in place to encourage sustainable transportation. The City of Dallas is developing a new Strategic Mobility Plan called Connect Dallas.  This plan is being developed as a parallel effort with the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.  Both plans include goals to reduce VMTs, mode shift, and increasing non-SOV travel.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) sets regional VMT reduction targets that include the City. The City is developing VMT reduction goals as part of the Strategic Mobility Plan/CECAP that will exceed the regional VMT targets.   It is anticipated that both Plans will be adopted in Spring 2020 through Council Resolution, thereby codifying VMT/GHG reductions and other mobility goals.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The City quantified VMT as part of the most recent GHG inventory.  In 2015 it is estimated that the VMT was 15,672,482,267.  However, previous inventories did not quantify VMT, so trending is not possible at this time.  The Strategic Mobility Plan and CECAP will set new VMT goals and progress towards those goals will be tracked.

Last Updated: March 2020

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Dallas’s Chapter 51A Article XIII uses mixed-use districts on the neighborhood scale to implement transit-oriented communities and mixed use development in area plans.

Residential Parking Policies

The City requires 2 or more parking spots per single family lodging but allows one or more parking spaces per residential unit in certain areas. The City is evaluating phased reductions in parking minimums as part of the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

There are no incentives available through the City to promote location efficiency. The Forward Dallas Comprehensive Plan and updates covers polices regarding compact, mixed use development. This plan is scheduled for updating following completion of the Land Use/ Transportation goals as set forth in the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan. The City contains seven defined Federal Opportunity Zones; it is anticipated that these areas will be developed with compact, mixed used development, affordible housing, energy efficient design, and green infrastructure to minimize hydrologic impact and future heat island impacts.

Last Updated: March 2020

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

At this time, the City does not have a codified mode share target for trips within the city.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place at this time.  Once targets are established, tracking programs will be implemented.

Complete Streets

Dallas adopted its complete streets policy in 2011 and has since updated it with its Complete Streets Design Manual. The Complete Streets Initiative encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all road construction and maintenance projects.

Car Sharing

The City of Dallas is served by Oak Cliff Car Share zipcar and Enterprise CarShare. Currently, the City does not have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles. That said, with an observed local increase in car sharing, the City is working on developing formal policy related to parking dedicated towards car share.  These efforts are coordinated between the Connect Dallas Strategic Mobility Plan and the CECAP.  Both plans are in development, with anticipated completion and adoption by the Citty Council in Spring 2020.

Bike Sharing

There is a bike sharing program called Fair Park Bike Share but with very limited service. The City of Dallas is currently served by four private undocked system operators (Bird, Lime, VBikes, and Razor) that provide bicycles and scooters. The number of dockless bikes peaked at approximately 18,000 with five companies operating.  However, today there are no dockless bicycles in the city; the City of Dallas is currently served by four private undocked system operators (Bird, Lime, VBikes, and Razor) that provide scooters.

Last Updated: March 2020

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The DART transit system that serves Dallas received $847,179,058 on average annually between 2014 and 2018. That equates to roughly $112.36 per capita between 2014 and 2018 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Dallas’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 6.8, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-6.99) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2020

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Dallas does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. A local electric provider ONCOR offers incentives for the purchase of a Nissan Leaf.  In addition, the state offers electric vehicle incentives through the TCEQ. This is under evaluation as part of the CECAP.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure. This is being evaluated as part of the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 128 charging stations available for public use, equivalent to 9.516 stations per 100,000 people. 

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Dallas has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.). This is being evaluated as part of the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.

Last Updated: March 2020

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Dallas does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency. Freight policy is being evaluated as part of the coordinated Connect Dallas / CECAP efforts.

Last Updated: March 2020

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Dallas has a requirement in place for the development of mixed-income housing in all TIF financed projects which ensures that affordable housing will be an integral component of each development.  The Forward Dallas  program addresses these areas, and will be updated following the completion of the CECAP. Additionally the Connect Dallas transportation plan and CECAP both include draft actions to promote affordable housing in transit-oriented development.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Dallas does not currently provide rebates or incentives to low-income residents for efficient transportation options. There are DART programs to provide assistance to qualified riders.  Additional programs are under consideration as part of the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan.

Last Updated: March 2020